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Kuwait elections: Thousands protests in support of boycotting vote

The protests are being called the largest in that country's history and have brought together liberals, along with conservative Islamists to demand political change in the monarchy.

Kuwait protests electoral lawEnlarge
Kuwaiti opposition supporters run for cover as riot police fire tear gas during a protest in Kuwait City, on October 21, 2012, against the decision by Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah to amend the electoral law despite it having been confirmed by a court last month. Kuwaiti riot police beat opposition protesters who were gathering for a massive demonstration against a decision to change the electoral law, organisers and witnesses said. (Yasser Al-Zayyat/AFP/Getty Images)

Kuwait was rocked with protests Friday on the eve of parliamentary elections, which many say are not free.

The protests are being called the largest in that country's history and have brought together liberals, along with conservative Islamists to demand political change in the monarchy.

Saturdays' election is the fifth since Kuwait's emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Jaber Al Sabah took power in 2006.

The emir dissolved the last parliament in early October,GlobalPost previously reported, after Islamists won massively during June elections.

Opposition politicians have previously called on Kuwaitis to boycott the new vote, said Gulf News.

Many believe that new voter laws will skew the election toward pro-government supporters.

The emir said the new voter laws, which cuts citizens' ability to vote from four candidates to one, were put in place to preserve stability and security.

RT reported that tonight's march was supposed to be peaceful but some breakaway groups clashed with police.

“The message to the authorities is that the Kuwaiti people refuse elections and refuse the pro-government parliament,” said former Kuwaiti MP Jamaan al-Herbesh, according to Pakistan's Daily Times.

Many of the protestors wore orange clothing and waves orange flags, the color of the boycott movement.

More from GlobalPost: Kuwait: Thousands protest changes to electoral laws

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/united-kingdom/121130/kuwait-elections-thousands-protests-support-boyco